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Bruins top Canadiens on rookie Fraser's OT goal

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Matt Fraser contemplated what the days ahead might hold for him while he sat eating lunch in a Mexican restaurant in Providence on Wednesday.

One scenario that did not occur to him was that one night later he would score 1:19 into overtime in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut to give the Boston Bruins a 1-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Recalled from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League on Thursday, the 23-year-old forward put a bouncing puck past Montreal goalie Carey Price to even the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series at 2-2.

"Words can't even describe that feeling," Fraser said. "I don't even want to begin to try to explain that. It's something I wish every kid could feel. I wish I could remember it; it just happened like a blur. The puck got to the net and it was bobbling in front. I just tried to sniff it out and whack it in."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fraser is the sixth NHL player in the past 75 years to score his first playoff goal in a 1-0 overtime game.

"As you can tell in my voice, I'm pretty excited," Fraser said. "I hardly slept today, and I'm sure I'll hardly sleep tonight. At the same time, we have to keep it in perspective. It's just one game. We evened the series. Now we have to go back to Boston with the same effort."

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs, fifth of his career.

"It's a funny thing how you always just talk about staying positive and don't squeeze your sticks, but the more you talk about not squeezing your sticks sometimes it goes the other way," Rask said. "Today, it looked like that was the case at times, but hopefully things turn around."

Price, who stopped 34 of 35 shots, said he knew where the puck was when it came off the glass on the play that led to Fraser's game-winning goal, but he lost track of it when it struck someone's shin pad.

"It bounced over my stick, and I lost it in the crowd of people in front of me," Price said. "Somebody yelled 'Over!' so I looked over my left shoulder and obviously it wasn't there, and somebody poked it on in."

Game 5 is Saturday at TD Garden in Boston (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"It's bitter right now, but at the end of the day, it's a tied series," Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said.

Game 4 marked the 10th time a playoff game between the rivals has ended 1-0; it was the first since April 15, 2008, when Montreal won Game 4 in Boston on its way to a 4-3 series win in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The only other 1-0 playoff game between the teams decided in overtime was April 16, 1953, at the Forum, when Elmer Lach scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal at 1:22.

"It was a pretty tight game," Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla said. "It was a hard-fought game both ways, and it sure feels good when they go the right way. Fortunately we got that bounce, and it's a big one, and now we want to go home and take advantage of having home ice again."

Fraser had two goals and no assists in 14 games with Boston during the regular season. He has three goals and two assists in 27 regular-season NHL games.

Acquired from the Dallas Stars with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Joseph Morrow on July 4, 2013, in a trade for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button, Fraser scored in overtime in Game 2 of Providence's first-round AHL playoff series against the Springfield Falcons.

"We've seen him this year and he's been playing well lately in Providence, and he actually has been scoring some goals and playing some pretty good hockey, and he showed that tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

Boston came closest in the third period to breaking the scoreless tie. Smith fired a shot off the crossbar during the Bruins' second power play after Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin was called for boarding at 8:21 for his hit on David Krejci in the right corner.

Three minor penalties were called during regulation, two against Montreal. Boston went 0-for-2 in Game 4 to fall to 0-for-8 in the series.

"That was a hard-nosed game played by two well-prepared teams, and both goalies were phenomenal tonight, and we lost a battle in front of the net obviously on the winning goal, but I'm pleased with our team effort," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "The guys battled hard, and when you get to overtime, it could go both ways, so both teams played really hard tonight."

Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was called for the first penalty of the game at 7:05, when he was sent off for holding after he spun Bruins forward Brad Marchand around behind the Montreal net.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron's deflection tested Price early on the power play, but Boston failed to take advantage of that opportunity.

Moments later, Montreal left wing Rene Bourque drove past Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk and reached across the goal mouth, but his attempt to stuff the puck into the left side went off the side of the net.

Defenseman Matt Bartkowski got Boston's first penalty at 11:49 of the second period when he was called for holding Lars Eller behind the Bruins net.

Bruins center Carl Soderberg had the best scoring opportunity of the first period with less than a minute to play when Boston took advantage of a turnover by Subban. Price made a left-pad save on Fraser's shot from the left side after the Bruins forward pounced on Subban's pass back off the boards behind the net. The rebound went to the slot, and Soderberg fired a shot, but Price got his left arm on the puck, deflecting it up into the netting.

Earlier, Subban plunged to the ice to cut off Soderberg's pass from the right side on a 2-on-1 with Fraser.

The Canadiens, who scored a pair of breakaway goals in their 4-2 win in Game 3, got another opportunity to go in alone on Rask in the second period Thursday. Eller found Gionta behind two Bruins defensemen at the blue line, but Rask denied the captain's backhand shot.

Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray, playing in his third straight playoff game, drew a huge cheer from the crowd just past the midway point of the first period when he dropped Shawn Thornton to the ice with a check along the boards.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros and forward Jordan Caron were left out of the Bruins lineup in favor of Bartkowski and Fraser. Therrien used the same lineup he dressed for Game 3.

Fraser is the first player to score an overtime goal in his first playoff game since Benn Ferriero lifted San Jose to a victory at 7:03 of overtime in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund scored a 1-0 overtime winner for his first playoff goal April 21 against the Colorado Avalanche in a Western Conference First Round series. The others to do so San Jose's Andrei Zyuzin in 1998, Ruslan Fedotenko of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2002, San Jose's Niko Dimitrakos in 2004 and Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly in 2010. Fraser and Dimitrakos are the only players to accomplish the feat in a playoff debut.

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